HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A former Hackensack attorney from Paramus who was accused of walking into a stranger’s house half-naked in high heels last weekend once shocked a courtroom during a gang trial by announcing he’d temporarily quit.
Justin Christodoro stunned those in the Hackensack courtroom during jury selection in a May 2013 trial against reputed members of the infamous James Bond Gang of burglars.
"It was the ethical thing to do,” Christodoro, a Cum Laude presidential scholarship recipient at Seton Hall University Law School in Neawrk, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
His experience with a previous defendant — including what he said was intimidation — “changed me as a lawyer,” Christodoro told the PILOT. “[It] affected me personally and affected my family.
“I can’t do things for [one of the defendants] that I know I should, that when I was younger I would have,” he said.
Christodoro, who was admitted to the state bar in 2004, was subsequently placed on temporary “disability inactive status” by the State Supreme Court at the urging of the state director of the Office of Attorney Ethics. All of his cases were then reassigned.
Christodoro eventually returned to defending clients. He handled a variety of cases – divorces, DWIs, drug offenses and more.
But his defense had yet to be heard for walking in through a Rutherford resident’s back door around dusk this past Saturday naked from the waist town and wearing high heels.
“I’m here!” Rutherford police said the 39-year-old counselor announced to the startled Eastern Way residents.
Realizing his mistake, Christodoro ran out to his car and drove off, Lyndhurst Capt. John Valente said.
Soon after, Valente said, his officers got a call of a suspicious car parked in a driveway with an unconscious man behind the wheel, the captain said.
They found Christodoro in just a shirt and the high heels before he hurriedly put on a pair of sweatpants, Valente said. They also found a bag of Ecstasy on the floor of the car, he said.
Christodoro was brought to New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus for evaluation and observation before being processed on lewdness and drug possession charges out of the two jurisdictions.
He was later released pending a court hearing.
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